Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hedging My Bets

Not long ago I wrote about finding focus. The multitude of things I have been building and developing in my life are all meaningful and valuable in some way, and yet I made a startling realization this week: I have been hedging my bets on my own success! Instead of going full throttle toward my passions, I have had other plans waiting in the wings just in case. In many ways, I have been putting out my terms of surrender to the universe, even as I strove for forward momentum.

This week, I received inspiration from a number of sources, and I started trimming the hedges from my plan. What I actually want to surrender to is my inevitable success at being authentically me. Keeping a Plan B in my back pocket is only necessary if I believe that I'm going to fail. In truth, I know that I will always have the opportunity to make new discoveries, course correct, and find a way forward. My journey may not look like what I expect it to, but building a Plan B or C only robs me of my commitment toward what I most want.

My friend, James Towell, wrote this week: "You might know that I do a fair bit of running. After a while, I had to look for a deeper purpose that just getting back in shape. I got that 'I have a body, and I'm going to use it, and enhance its capacity to help me have a full life'.

"Well, I had my first ever singing lesson on Wednesday. I sensed that I'd get more out of it than just an understanding of the voice. Apart from it being tremendous fun, I noticed a similar theme. 'I have a voice. I'm going to see what it can do, and enhance its capacity to see how it can support me in living life to the full'.

"...My running and singing helped me connect with a deep purpose for my [personal] work. I want to see what I can do with my heart and my mind. I want to enhance their capacity for no other reason that to help me live a full life. I'm going to see what I can do. I didn't settle for 'I wonder what it would be like to sing', and I'm not settling for 'I wonder what it would be like to live life without resentments, and with love for myself and others'."

I'm with you, James. There's really no point in betting on my failure or spending time figuring out my eventual terms of surrender. I'm going to see what I can do.


  1. You obviously shouldn't plan to fail. But I don't think there is anything wrong with planning for the eventuality of failure. Not everything will work the way we envision it. Not everything plan we make will work without a hitch. Plan for success, but don't be totally unprepared if you fail.

    Overextending yourself or "stretching yourself too thin" as you talked about, is not the same thing as "betting on failure". If anything it is the smart thing to do. You have to give yourself more credit than that.

    Of course, if you simply don't have time to do everything you need to for each project and end up cheating one to half-ass the other, you need to look and see which complete projects you should keep and what gets dropped. But not because you are "planning on failure". Simply because it is better to do two things well than three half-assedly (is that even a word?)


  2. You, my friend, have done great things and have the ability to do a many more great things.